Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

News about the RKIDs

May 15, 2020

Surviving the Pandemic

Our members continue staving off boredom and the coronavirus by ...

Reading ... Goat Farming... Remodeling ... Barbering ... Solving Puzzles ... and more

What's Going on Here?

answer below


Voracious reader and learner Nancy recently enjoyed a murder mystery by Elizabeth George (who happens to be Christine’s favorite author) and a page-turner by Maeve Binchy. In light of the times, she started reading the highly relevant book by Albert Camus, The Plague. She is also privileged to be a student at Osher, which is now offering its classes via Zoom


Fancy Game Night
Donna and the Grandkids

Donna O's family is surviving the pandemic by once-a-week gatherings called "Game Night." A theme for the night is announced and everyone is encouraged to dress appropriately. Recently, "Fancy" was the theme and her son came up with a top hat. Although they are all staying home throughout the quarantine time, on "Game Night" they come together at Donna's son's home in Fairfax or at her house in Frederick. They have also used Zoom. They are trying hard to stay united during these difficult days.

Ann Marie R.

A Growing Family
Kidding Around

With the closing of MCPS, Ann Marie has been able to spend lots of time at the family farm near the Mason-Dixon line. She tends flowers, watches wildlife, and raises goats and is pleased to announce the birth of a whole new herd of kids this spring. The little darlings are doing fine.


Adopt Me!
Sammie, an affectionate stray cat, is not an ordinary cat. He tried hard to convince Tom and Sonja to adopt him. Guess who won that discussion?
Master Gardener

Here, Sammie is helping Sonja plan her vegetable garden. Of course it includes resting on her textbooks.

Sonja and Sammie

After several weeks of dealing with terrible pain in her leg, Sonja finally has a diagnosis: it's a herniated disk. She is now on medication and the pain has eased. She and Sammie have spent many hours on the recliner while Tom prepares meals and caters to his patient. "When you are not feeling good, it's nice to have a furry friend nearby," said Sonja, referring to Sammie (not Tom, although she's happy to have him nearby, too).


Was Nice While it Lasted
Before the Big Fix

Handyman Roger sent in this report about his activities during the pandemic: "The weather during April has been very conducive for indoor projects. The main bathroom was the last room in my house without any upgrades or refinishing since the house was built 37 years ago. I selected and ordered new bath fixtures, removed all the old fixtures, installed a new electric outlet, and installed the new faucets and wall anchors for the new fixtures. Removing the original faucet and drain from the sink proved to be the most difficult task as parts had corroded together over the years. Liberal use of penetrating oil, large pipe wrenches, a hair dryer, and colorful language were required for removal. Completion date is weather dependent, and I feel no need to rush the job. All of the fixtures were made in China, and some had a manufactured date of February 2020. I have used a lot of Lysol on both the packaging and the contents!"

Luckily, for Roger, the weather conditions in May encouraged him to complete his project — the remodeling of the main bathroom. In sum, he installed a new light, medicine cabinet with mirror, two glass shelves, towel racks, robe hooks, and faucets. He also painted the entire room. A job well done! And he hasn't lost his sense of humor!

A Stellar Job

Robin and Emmett

Kent Island Bikers

Robin and Emmett continue their stay at his house in Greensboro, Maryland. He finished constructing a fire pit and had time to go biking with Robin along the Cross Island Trail which is on Kent Island, just over the Bay Bridge. Robin says, "We have seen bald eagles, osprey, cardinals, red bellied woodpeckers, red winged blackbirds, and — roosters! The town of Greensboro does not officially allow roosters, but one arrives twice a day in their back yard."


Maura's Barber Shop
According to Maura, men's haircuts are going cheap in Herndon. Scissors and clippers is what she uses. Her customer seems happy with the results and probably left a huge tip.   

Marie G

Erin, Back in the Saddle
Beau - Hallway Racer
Marie G is running a "virtual school" for her grandchildren with lots of activities to keep them busy. Beau, the baby, is racing up and down the hallway having fun. Erin, aged 5, has gotten back on the saddle. Chef Ava made a cherry pie for her mother's birthday. All of them, including Pierce, are enjoying having tea every day with their grandmother. She serves a digestive, McVities Chocolate Biscuits from England to make it authentic. Sounds like a lot is going on at her house!
Chef Ava
Tea Time for Pierce


Mountain Climber Connie

After weeks of being indoors, Connie attempted several outings on Mother's Day. She visited her mother first. They talked on the phone while Connie looked in through sliding glass doors. Then, Connie had a social distance-compliant visit with her sister, Jean, and the family. Finally, she met her sister, Claudia, for a hike on Sugarloaf Mountain. Connie beamed, "It was so nice to finally be out and about."

Mo and John

Mother's Day Hike
On the Bike Path

Our dancing friends from the mountain ridge in Braddock Heights, Maryland are keeping busy and mainly out of trouble: "John's work day is filled with Zoom and team meetings, but he loves the commute to the dining room! He was sworn in as the President of the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) on April 16 and has hit the ground running helping to create a sense of community — virtually. Since the MRPA spring conference was cancelled, John and Mo got busy working with people from the Education and Training Committee. Mo offered two free webinars: Growing through Adversity: Recognizing the Benefits of Uncomfortable Circumstances and Emotional Intelligence: Staying Grounded in Challenging Times. When we are not in front of computer screens, we hit the road on our e-bikes, which has been great with reduced traffic. We have hiked a few times each week. On Mother's Day, we hiked to High Rocks Lookout on the Appalachian Trail with our daughter, Maddie, and son-in-law, Dan. We miss our RKIDs peeps and hope we can host you all again for a pre or post Keys game party."

President John

Jim C.

Looks Are Everything

Jim C is not only great at sawing wood and making Bata Mor sticks (see the previous Blarney) he is also known far and wide as a great cook. His Irish Stew has always gone quickly at the ceili potlucks. But even cooks have bad days. Recently Jim decided to make his first cheescake from scratch. It looked fantastic, and he even dreamed about it that night. But disaster struck when Kathy cut into it the next day. Apparently, the cheesecake didn't have quite enough time to chill and set, so it ended up being pudding!


Announcing a major accomplishment at the Mayfield household! Gerry has finally been able to clean off the top of her dresser and is making strides with the contents of the drawers. She didn't think it could be done, but her perseverance paid off. Congratulations! She has also caught up with her reading, made progress with a jigsaw puzzle, took a walk around the neighborhood, played some computer games, and completed several crossword puzzles. She reported that last Saturday's Washington Post puzzle "was kind of challenging. A few of the answers were things I never heard of and certainly wouldn't have figured out!" 

Yo, RKIDs!  Now that you've read about how some of us are dealing with it, what have you been up to in this time of historic pandemic that you'd like to share? Drop a line and captioned photo to Marilyn O. and maybe we'll use it in a future edition of Blarney. In any case, we hope this edition inspires you to stay active and connected.

And everyone, please be safe. You know the drill – distancing and frequent hand washing.